On Monday, over 250 people were arrested for violating the terms of a complete lockdown amid the deadly COVID-19 crisis. The arrests took place for loitering on the streets despite a strict lockdown. The police raided localities to strictly implement the five-day lockdown ordered by Chief Minister Mamta Banerjee to contain the spread of the highly contagious virus.
The complete lockdown that started from 5 pm on Monday will continue till March 27 at midnight. Gathering of more than seven persons has been prohibited in the state.
According to police officials, 255 people were booked under section 188 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) that pertains to disobedience to order duly promulgated by a public servant.
“255 persons arrested violating Restriction Order & prosecuted u/s 188 IPC. I appeal to all citizens to #StayHome and cooperate with the administration. @KolkataPolice will continue the drive against violators,” Kolkata Police commissioner Anuj Sharma tweeted around midnight on Monday.
On Monday, the state recorded its first death due to COVID-19 even as Banerjee instructed the police to ensure strict implementation of the lockdown.
The death resulted in some panic as the person had no history of travelling outside the country or meeting anyone who came from abroad recently.
He had travelled in a train from Bilaspur in Chhattisgarh to Kolkata earlier this month, during which he is suspected to have contracted the disease.
The state government also introduced the Critical Safety Regulation under which all public transport services, including operations of taxis and auto-rickshaws, have been suspended.
“All shops, commercial establishments, offices and factories, workshops, godowns, etc shall close their operations,” the lockdown notification of Sunday said. This exempts essential services like grocery shops, markets selling vegetables, fish, and meat.